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Looking for input on my first patina project.

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motoguy
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Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby motoguy » Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:00 pm

This is my first patina project. 14ga HR.

First off...I LOVE muriatic acid. This is the first time I've used it. It's amazing to watch the mill scale literally wash away. I had already ground the dross off, but I'll leave the dross next time.

I rinsed off the mill scale , then blow dry with compressed air. Hit with 120g flap wheel, making whole piece shiny. Rinse again (shower setting). Blow off with air gun. Left piece lying flat (not vertical) on my work surface. Sprayed with Copper F/X, rinse off as soon as I'm done spraying. First spray didn't do much of anything. Rinse off, dry off again, re-spray. Let this coat set for 8-10 seconds. Rinse. Blow dry.

I then applied some Flame F/X to the middle detail. I sprayed it on a rag, and wiped down the area. I thought it would work like the metal dyes in the video, but it did not. I didn't really get any reaction until I sprayed some Flame F/X onto the area, and let it sit (in a pool). Took several tries before I started to notice a color change. I continued to try wiping with a rag as well.

Eventually rinsed, and dryed. I thought it looked good (shiny) immediately after drying. After a couple of minutes, though, the finish started to look more matte and splotchy.

This is how it looks when completely dry. It has a couple of light colored "streaked" areas, and I'm not sure why. It looks almost like it's dry in some areas, but not others. That's not the case.

Any feedback or input on the process or result would be appreciated. Does this look scream "he did/didn't do xxxx" to any of you? I'd like to know how to get the Flame F/X more pronounced, how to remove some of the black areas along some of the edges, and how to keep the lighter "streaks" from happening. I think a clearcoat over the part would cure the dull/matte finish, but I don't want to do that yet, in case I grind it all off and start over.

Thanks!
20160728_134606.jpg
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motoguy
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Re: Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby motoguy » Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:28 am

I'm going to take it back to bare steel with a flap wheel, and try again today. Suggestions/advice welcomed!
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Re: Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby acourtjester » Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:01 am

One step I do is when I finish with the acid I scrub and wash the parts in water with washing soda the rinse with clear water and blow dry with shop air.
You may be getting the black along the edge from some small acid residue. Not an expert by any means just a thought.
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Re: Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby gamble » Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:50 am

It can never be too dry. Blow dry the back too and go over it with a towel.
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Re: Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby motoguy » Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:20 pm

It is my understanding that the metal still needs to have a slight bit of dampness on it whenever the patina acid is applied. Is this incorrect? I will watch the video again, but I thought it mentioned blowing off excess water, but a slight amount of moisture is required for the reaction. Are you guys applying the patina chemical to bone dry metal?
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Re: Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby gamble » Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:29 pm

motoguy wrote:It is my understanding that the metal still needs to have a slight bit of dampness on it whenever the patina acid is applied. Is this incorrect? I will watch the video again, but I thought it mentioned blowing off excess water, but a slight amount of moisture is required for the reaction. Are you guys applying the patina chemical to bone dry metal?

Can be done either way. I "THINK" if it's applied dry it ends up being a darker color.

Also you should use pickeled and oiled steel. No mill scale, it's beautiful! I won't bother with patina on anything that is hot rolled, it's a pain to remove.
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Re: Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby littlefatbuddy » Fri Jul 29, 2016 8:45 pm

I used cold rolled, I will blow off excess water before I spray copper and rinse as soon as I see the metal starting to turn the copper color. For me, I find the flame works better if the metal is wet. Sorry I can't help with the streaks it happens to me too sometimes. What I normally do when it happens is rub it down with a green scotch brite and re-spray. Also, I am not positive but it could be flash rust that will only get worse if you don't clear it.

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Re: Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby Metriccar » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:07 pm

I am not sure what streaks you are speaking of. If you are speaking of the lines going down such as on the left side of the R in ROBERTS, I can attribute that to air-drying without properly rinsing.


I REALLY struggled with Steel-FX at first. It looks so easy in the videos, yet whenever I tried it, it came out looking like crap.
I have found-preparation is key; the entire surface of the metal should be grinded, the shinier the surface, the better the results. It does not need to be damp or wet when applying the Steel-FX. It can be completely dry.

Go over the metal with the steel-fx, knowing when you spray, then come back and spray that area again, that's when it darkens and also has a more patina effect. I can spray copper-fx on a small piece of metal and if I carefully make one pass, it will look like a copper spray paint, with no patina. The second I make another pass, I get the "patina" effect. I get the desired effect, then thoroughly rinse the piece off with water. Even when you think the steel-fx is gone, just keep rinsing for a while. Only then do you avoid the "runs" when air-drying.
I can tell by looking at this you rinsed/air dryed it with it standing up like it is now.... nothing wrong with that if that's the effect you are looking for.

I suggest experimenting with smaller pieces at first.

It's harder than it looks to get down, but once you have it, it's easy.

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Re: Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby motoguy » Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:02 pm

I've since gotten better, but I'm still practicing. I see that I still over-apply the Torch F/X...I end up with blue and/or gray, and usually burn through the red. I need to work on that. I've got about 15 products soaking in acid now, to be patina'd tomorrow. I cut some 3"x3" plates from drop material, to use as practice/demo panels. I need to see what effects I can get aside from the Copper F/X, Torch F/X and Bronze F/X. I'm anxious to try the Marble F/X, and see how it looks.

10660356_1592499291050291_2292898173410578615_n.jpg


Customers love the look, that's for sure. Next on the list is to get the powdercoat oven complete. I really want to be able to offer some vein/hammered finishes.

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Re: Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby motoguy » Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:04 pm

gamble wrote:
motoguy wrote:It is my understanding that the metal still needs to have a slight bit of dampness on it whenever the patina acid is applied. Is this incorrect? I will watch the video again, but I thought it mentioned blowing off excess water, but a slight amount of moisture is required for the reaction. Are you guys applying the patina chemical to bone dry metal?

Can be done either way. I "THINK" if it's applied dry it ends up being a darker color.

Also you should use pickeled and oiled steel. No mill scale, it's beautiful! I won't bother with patina on anything that is hot rolled, it's a pain to remove.


I'll try applying it dry. I thought the straight "copper" look would be neat, but it's actually too bright and shiny. Giving it a 2nd coat to darken it up might be the ticket.

What's the prep work needed for P&O material? I thought it required prep work to remove the oil from the steel. I'm considering going with cold rolled, in order to avoid any additional prep work at all. If P&O requires work like HR, I figured I may as well stick with the less expensive HR.
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Re: Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby Metriccar » Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:50 am

I use cold rolled and still grind first with a flap disc. Even with cold rolled you get much better results grinding to a shiny surface.

With cold rolled, I grind with a flap disc to a shiny surface, spray patina, rinse with water, air dry with air hose then clear coat.

If you don't grind cold rolled first, you get bad results. I've even got bad results not drying with an air hose and letting it sit out.

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Re: Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby Metriccar » Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:53 am

That wescott sign looks a lot better

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Re: Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby gamble » Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:21 am

Pickled and oiled steel is more like cold rolled. No milk scale so if shines up quick and easy
Plus I feel it cuts better than hot rolled
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Re: Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby motoguy » Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:20 am

Did about a dozen of these letters today. Have about a dozen more to do. I'm getting much better at my work flow, preparation, and patina application. LOL

I'm still experimenting, and made the mistake today of applying the Torch F/X with the letter in the vertical position. I ended up with lots of runs. Some of them are "soft" edged, and give a "weathered" look. Those will be ok. Some of them have a very hard, defined edge, and just look like...runs. I'll have to grind those down tomorrow and fix them.

I'm having trouble with my usage vs results on the Torch F/X. Seems like I am just burning through chemical before getting it to flash. Anyone have tips on getting the most bang for their buck with the Torch F/X?

Re: HR vs CR...I keep going back and forth about this. I like the idea of cutting, and going directly to finish work, which I could do with CR. I also like the idea of CR cutting better, as I am sometimes frustrated with the cut quality on the HR. I'm curious if the mill scale on HR causes any appreciable issues with DTHC? I know the oxidation on AL was really kicking my butt when I was practicing TIG welding.

Then again, I also like the way the soak in the acid bath "softens" the cut lines. It's also nice to just throw cuts in the acid, plan on coming back to them tomorrow, and not having to grind the dross off. Other than the wait, and having to wash the mill scale off, the acid isn't that bad. And heck, when I do a patina, I'm rinsing constantly anyway, so it's not like washing the dissolved mill scale off is creating additional work.

Then again...diluted muriatic acid on finger cuts sucks. Badly. Nowhere near as badly as getting a splash in your eye, though. I should kick my own ass for getting lax on the protective gear. I even had the face shield on my head...just not lowered when I picked the metal out of the bath. The acid burned my cut (happened on previous piece), which caused me to drop the part...which caused the splash. At least it was diluted 50% with water...as bad as that was, I can't image what straight acid would have been like!
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Re: Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby motoguy » Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:22 am

Metriccar wrote:I use cold rolled and still grind first with a flap disc. Even with cold rolled you get much better results grinding to a shiny surface.

With cold rolled, I grind with a flap disc to a shiny surface, spray patina, rinse with water, air dry with air hose then clear coat.

If you don't grind cold rolled first, you get bad results. I've even got bad results not drying with an air hose and letting it sit out.


I was going to try "assembly line" method today, with the dozen or more things I needed to patina. Ultimately, I was afraid that the time from first to last part would leave the first part flash rusting or something. So, I did them one at a time, except for clear coat. About 1/2 way through, I clear coated the items that were otherwise done. All I could think about was them sitting over there flash rusting before I could get them cleared!
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Re: Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby Countrylane » Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:52 pm

That Westcott sign is beautiful! I have the patinas also, just haven't had the time and courage to use them. Would love to see more pics.

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Re: Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby motoguy » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:18 am

I've cut about a dozen of these things this week, with ~35 waiting to be cut. I've gotten to the point where I wish I could apply / practice some other finishes, however the patina (copper f/x, torch f/x, bronze f/x) is by far the most popular. The customers ooh and ahh over them. My wife has started taking samples by some of the local interior decorating shops on her day off, and the response there has been positive as well.

I've learned (as stated above) that the brighter the "polish" on the bare steel (ie, hit it with a flap wheel), the better the end result looks. Straight lines can be used, but people sure like the "swirly" look. Apply the Torch F/X with the piece in a horizontal position, OR use the water hose (on a very low setting) to create a protective "water flow" to keep the Torch F/X from going where I don't want it to be (ie, looks like runs down the product). I've also learned how to mist the Bronze F/X lightly at a distance, and let it settle into the piece for a very light "mottled" look, or apply strongly and near the surface for a fast, dark finish.

A BIG key, for me, has been the clear coat. I tried all the rattle can clears available at the local Wal Mart. Enamel, acrylic, etc. All left a clear, but dull surface. Very matte. Really muted the piece. I then went by our local O'Reilly auto parts and talked to a paint guy there. He turned me on to this:

Image

This stuff does a GREAT job. It provides a high-gloss, deep, glass-like covering (when applied evenly). It really, really transforms the piece. Adds a TON of depth to it. I'm working out of a very tight space, so I don't have the ability to set up a dedicated paint area, nor run stuff in assembly line process (cut all, paint all, etc). I have several HVLP guns that would work great to apply color/clear en masse, but no way to set it up. Rather than mix tiny amounts to spray with my gun, I've found these rattle cans to be a great alternative.
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Re: Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby motoguy » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:28 am

gamble wrote:Pickled and oiled steel is more like cold rolled. No milk scale so if shines up quick and easy
Plus I feel it cuts better than hot rolled


What surface prep is required for the P&O? My local supplier cannot get CR or P&O. I found a vendor that can supply them both...for less than I'm paying for HR...but they're 1.5 hours away. I may just make the drive up there and buy a bunch of sheets at a time. Right now, I can't take the time to do that. Cutting the HR, throwing them in the acid tub for the night while I: 1) cut more during the day, or 2) send out more design proofs at night is working well. Besides, I do like the way the overnight acid dip "smooths" the surface of the piece. Cleans up the dross, kind of mutes irregularities in the cut (if any), etc. The post-acid rinse is really a non-issue, as I have the hose out for patina duty at that time, anyway.

I've read several people saying that P&O or CR "cuts cleaner". THAT part really intrigues me, as I'm occasionally not happy with the cut on the HR material.

I may soon be at a point where the overnight soak is creating too much of a delay. Then I'll move to the P&O or CR for sure. I'm currently paying $48 for a 4x8 sheet of 14ga HR at the local supplier. Here are the prices from the larger dealer, 1.5 hours away:

4x8 HR @ $39.00
4 x 8 CR @ $48.00
P&O 4 x 10 @ $56.25
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Re: Looking for input on my first patina project.

Postby tnbndr » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:27 am

I have been buying P&O recently as I came onto a supplier that I didn't have before (daughters employer). The prep is the same as CR, it really is not that oily. After cutting the pieces I usually let mine drip dry standing vertical, then drop flat several times on the welding table to knock off 90% of the dross, polish and finish.
I still buy HR from a local supplier that sells surplus stored outside for $.45/lb to cut outside stuff that I usually let rust. CR and P&O do cut nicer.
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